Monday, June 13, 2016


Today, my family traveled to Carthage and visited the infamous jailhouse there. This is the site of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, the founding prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and his brother Hyrum.

This is the jail cell where he was first placed in June of 1844.

This is the stairs to the upstairs room where the mob stormed to kill him.

This is the window where he fell after being shot from both the assailants in the room and the mob in the yard below.

A lot has been written about his life and death. Many opinions have been given. What is true and what is speculation is not always clear. I don’t intend to get deep into historical issues here. I believe him to be a true prophet, called of God, to restore Christ’s Gospel. I have read many things, both in his favor and to his condemnation. I still believe him to be a prophet.

A few years ago, I wrote a song about those that sacrifice their lives as a testament to the things they believe to be true. I include the song here:

Here are the lyrics (The first two verses refer to other martyrs, the third verse is about Joseph Smith)

Martyrs by Mark Hansen

The fires rise high on a moonless night
Marked by shouts and cries of fright
The scriptures burning up in ash and smoke
As they throw the scared believers in
Two men think to stop the din
But a still voice whispers, "No", to let them go

They've stood up to the last
Their sorrows now have past
Their souls are rising fast
And I'll join with the choirs and sing
And sing the martyrs home

It's just about 4:00 when the men ride in
The time for the truce is at an end
In the blacksmith's shop the settlers make their stand
The riders surround and open fire
And in the end, when they retire
The blood of eighteen souls is on their hands


In an Illinois Jail, four men wait
For the end of the story brought by fate
One man sings a hymn in the evening sun
A shouting mob rushes up the stairs
Bullets fly and bullets tear
And a prophet and his brother's lives are done


I’ve visited this site several times in my life. It has always been very special to me, as I thought about the things that happened there, and the things he revealed and taught. So, today, I thought I'd share here.


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Mark's Other Blog Posts: name post, name post,

1 comment:

  1. My dad and i visited the carthage jail when we went for the open house of the nauvoo temple



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